Johan Cruijff

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Johan Cruijff

Johan Cruijff (sometimes spelled Cruyff; born April 25, 1947 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football trainer/coach and former star player. Early in his career, he was a silky exponent of the football philosophy known as Total Football, developed by his trainer Rinus Michels.

Cruijff played successively for Ajax, FC Barcelona, Los Angeles Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, Levante Union Deportiva and Feyenoord. As a player, Cruijff was known for his technical ability: his mesmeric ball skill, speed and acceleration, the ability to change direction at will and his tactical insights make him one of the most gifted footballers of all time. He has been named as one of the best football players of his generation, alongside Franz Beckenbauer and Pel, although he did not win a cup or tournament with his national team. As a Dutch international he played 48 matches, in which he scored 33 goals.

The highlights of his football career as a player include winning the European Cup three times (1971 - 3, with Ajax), the Ballon d'Or (European Player of the Year) thrice (1971, 1973 - 4), and leading the Netherlands to a runners-up medal in the 1974 World Cup. In 1978 he refused to participate in the World Cup that was held in Argentina; the Netherlands emerged runners-up again that year.

Johan Cruijff has trained two football clubs after his active career as a player, Ajax and Barcelona. As a manager he led Ajax to victory in the European Cup Winner's Cup (1987) and Bara to four league titles (1991 - 4), as well as the European Cup (1992).

Cruijff used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day prior to undergoing double heart bypass surgery in 1991, after which he quit smoking forever and began chain-sucking Chupa Chups lollipops instead. He also led the anti-smoking campaign developed by the Health Department of the Catalan government.

In November 2003 Cruijff invoked legal proceedings against the publisher Tirion Uitgevers, over its photo book Johan Cruijff de Ajacied, which used photographs by Guus de Jong. Cruijff was working on another book, also using De Jong's photographs, and claimed unsuccessfully that Tirion's book violated his trademark and portrait rights.

The Dutch Supercup is named after him: Johan Cruijff-schaal.

His son, Jordi Cruijff, has played for teams such as FC Barcelona, Manchester United and Alaves. Cruijff was his trainer at Bara.

During his career Cruijff also became a national phenomenon on account of his comments, some of which stood out in brilliance and pure logic. His form of speech was dubbed "Cruijffiaans" in the Netherlands. Some examples:

  • "Italians can not beat us, but we can certainly lose against them" ("Italianen kunnen niet van ons winnen, maar we kunnen wel van ze verliezen.")
  • "Without the ball, you can't win" ("Zonder de bal kun je niet winnen.")
  • "Speed is often confused with insight. When I start running before the rest, I appear faster." ("Snelheid wordt vaak verward met inzicht. Als ik eerder ga lopen dan de rest, lijk ik sneller.")
  • "Before I make a mistake, I DO NOT make that mistake" ("Voordat ik een fout maak, maak ik die fout niet.")
  • "Every disadvantage has its advantage" ("Elk nadeel heeft z'n voordeel.")
  • "To win you have to score one more goal than your opponent" ("Om te winnen moet je 1 goal meer scoren dan je tegenstander")
  • and his most famous saying: "Chance is logical" ("Toeval is logisch.")

His influence on the Spanish language has been subject of the documentary En un momento dado ( released in 2004.

Preceded by:
Gerd Mller
European Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Franz Beckenbauer
Preceded by:
Franz Beckenbauer
European Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
current holder
European Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by:
Oleg Blokhin

Template:End boxde:Johan Cruijff es:Johan Cruyff fr:Johan Cruyff gl:Johan Cruyff it:Johann Cruyff he:יוהאן קרויף nl:Johan Cruijff ja:ヨハン・クライフ pl:Johan Cruijff pt:Johan Cruijff sv:Johan Cruyff


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